3 Cool Methods of Bodyweight Training

3 Cool Methods of Bodyweight Training

I recently read “Jailhouse Strong” by Josh Bryant and Adam Benshea and if you enjoy reading books on training, this one will not disappoint. The idea behind the book is to discuss the strength training methods incorporated by jail-house inmates including free-weight and body-weight methods. So, if you are unsure on how to start, here are 3 fun ways to incorporate body weight training into your workouts. The below methods can be used on just about any body weight movement you choose including burpees, pushups, squats, lunges, chinups, pullups, dips, tricep extensions, leg raises, situps, etc.

1) Deck of Pain
Take a 52 count deck of cards, shuffle them and flip the first card. You’ll then complete as many reps as the card says. For numbered cards, do matching number of reps. Jacks, Queens, Kings you will complete 10 reps and Aces you will complete 11 reps. One cycle through the deck leaves you at 380 reps. You should aim to complete this workout in under 15 minutes.

2) Pyramid/Ladder Method
This is a fun way to hit the century mark on a bodyweight workout and allows your body to get in some hypertrophy training. Start with one rep, rest, hit 2 reps, rest, go to 3 reps, rest, all the way up to 10 reps and back down again. Doing reps in this fashion allow you to hit 100 reps by going up and down the ladder. The book doesn’t state how long to rest between sets so I would begin by resting as long as you need to complete. If 100 reps sounds intimidating decrease the size of your ladder. By going up to 7 reps and back down you will complete 49 reps. Pick a number and time domain that is suitable for you and get started.

3) Juarez Valley Method
Similar to the Pyramid Method, only the Juarez Valley Method offers alternating ascending and descending reps. The Juarez Valley 20 is performed in this manner:
Set 1 – 20 reps
Set 2 – 1 rep
Set 3 – 19 reps
Set 4 – 2 reps
Set 5 – 18 reps
Set 6 – 3 reps
Set 7 – 17 reps
Set 8 – 4 reps
Set 9 – 16 reps
Set 10 – 5 reps
Set 11 – 15 reps
Set 12 – 6 reps
Set 13 – 14 reps
Set 14 – 7 reps
Set 15 – 13 reps
Set 16 – 8 reps
Set 17 – 12 reps
Set 18 – 9 reps
Set 19 – 11 reps
Set 20 – 10 reps

Once you complete a set, you are told to walk 8 feet forward and 8 feet back then beginning the next set. 8 feet was selected because that is the size of a prisoners jail cell. Instead of walking 8 feet forward and back you could also rest 10-15 seconds between sets. This is about how long it would take you to walk forward and back. Once the 20 set rep scheme is completed you will have knocked out 210 reps.
As stated previously, you can use the above training methods for any bodyweight movement. Once you are able to complete the workout within the allotted time you should aim to make the workout harder. You can do so by incorporating different types of pushups, pullups, etc. or add weight with a weight vest or dip belt. If you know of any other methods we can use in our bodyweight training leave your comments in the section below.

So next time you’re in the gym and you want to get in some extra work, give one of these methods a shot. That is unless you are afraid of getting a bit Jacked and Strong!